Monday, August 9, 2010

Scrabble sheep

We called all the sheep in the other day for a bit of a foot check and worming treatment. It's been so soft and boggy in many places lately that although the majority of the flock spend their time on the rocky hills foot rot and overgrown hoof horn are still possible. Having cloven hooves makes for a good mud trap as well as hay-raking gear when your breakfast comes as a solid lump. With everyone packed in and jostling in the pen together it's easier to catch them but also easier to lose track of who you've looked at closely and who is hiding in the crowd, hoping they won't be made to suffer the indignity of being tipped upside down. So when they've been inspected we spray them, usually with their initial.

Sometimes they manage to arrange themselves into words. Lucinda, Alistair, Natalie and Estelle had "lane" going for a moment there, but of course they rearranged themselves when the camera came out. Fiona's off to the side there, Barnaby and Penelope over the back, they could get involved and Angel will provide another A...

The stock marker lasts for ages in our dry weather here, but washes out fairly easily so it won't hang around long during this time of year. In the meantime we can mentally play scrabble. There are quite a few double letters but the flock isn't yet so big that they could make messages seen from the air, although I wouldn't put it past them to try. "Help Send Hay".